Garlic Bread? Are QR codes the future of the mobile internet?

You may have already seen these square pixely things on products or on TV? There is currently some debate about whether QR codes will take off as an easy link between physical objects and online information accessed with your mobile phone, or if they are just a passing fad.  Click here to complete our online survey and tell us what you think. 

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Art of the Sea

My Reflection on Wet Sand

My Reflection on Wet Sand

Tonight on BBC4 we have another chance to watch Art of the Sea at 20:00.  In this episode the poet Owen Sheers looks at the work of writers inspired by the sea including Joseph Conrad, Shakespeare, Coleridge, Robert Louis Stevenson and Patrick O’Brian. Have you ever been inspired by a trip to the sea?

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Reflections on Wet Sand

Reflections on Wet Sand

Reflections on Wet Sand

My inlaws take an evening constitutional on the beach near their home in Nambucca Heads. With Turner’s painting ‘Reflections on Wet Sand’ in mind I went along hoping to capture the sunset and figures reflected on the beach.  I didn’t manage a masterpiece, but it’s a nice record of my inlaws’ idyllic location and daily habits. There is something special about being near water in the peaceful early evening. Do you have any tips on how to photograph a great sunset?

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Eel Wrestling at Nambucca Heads


Blue Bottle on sand

Blue Bottle, Physalia physalis

“Don’t go into the water today, it’ll be like wrestling eels”, warned my mother inlaw after inspecting the beach on her morning walk. High tide and rough seas had brought in huge quantities of seaweed which was still writhing in the surf. Heeding her advice, I grabbed my camera and sought watery inspiration elsewhere. The stormy weather had also brought ashore a lot of Blue Bottles – another reason to avoid the waves today, as they pack a mighty sting!  I snapped this beauty on the beach – it reminds me of a glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly. What do you think?

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Make Your Own Cloud Studies

blue sky with white fluffy clouds over Australian bush

Cloud Study, Orange, NSW

Inspired by the art of Constable and Cozens I spent some time this afternoon observing the sky and clouds over the local landscape. The sun is shining today after a very wet week and, as it is also the school holidays, many other families had also headed for the hills. While they enjoyed the cooler mountain air and views over the orchards, my gaze was drawn upwards. The big sky is one of the things I miss about Australia – as a country girl I grew up being able to see clear to the horizon with a huge expanse of blue sky overhead. The landscapes of Constable and Cozens prove that you can get vast, dramatic skies in the UK too, but living in the city the sky is not a dominant feature and I often forget to look up.  What sort of sky and clouds do you have over head today?

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Everybody loves Turner!

The Unstable States exhibition has been running for a while now, so I thought I’d share some results regarding traffic to the blog. The most popular searches have been for the artist JMW Turner or for specific works by him, with folk often looking for works by Turner on display in and around Manchester. Do you have a favourite painting by Turner? Try searching the Tate’s Turner Worldwide database to find works near you.

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Climate Change in your Backyard?

Summer storm clouds over Orange, NSW, Australia

Summer storm clouds

A glance at the news and weather from around the world over the holidays shows many examples of extreme conditions – early snow in the Northern hemisphere, the coldest December since records began in the UK, heavy rains causing summer flooding in many usually dry parts of Australia. Here’s an image of storm clouds over Orange, NSW yesterday which caused flash flooding in some parts of town. Very unusal for the time of year and surprising after so many years of drought. What is the weather doing where you are? Do you feel the local climate has changed during your life time?

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